End of Life Doula & Consultant
Career changes have taken me from the beauty industry to law where I have met captivating people and heard fascinating stories. Nothing has left me more awestruck or been as transformational however, than the years I have worked with the dying. Being exposed to the rawness of humanity, with all its good and bad, has brought a profound understanding of unity and interconnectedness. To be invited into a dying person’s sanctum of vulnerability and all things sacred is a tremendous honour, each and every time.
Within hospitals and residential hospice I have sat at innumerable bedsides of the dying and witnessed the overwhelming fear and anxiety that envelops so many, including their family and friends. I’ve seen relationships destroyed, desires and wishes ignored and all too many questions gone unanswered. It became clear how this suffering could be alleviated, allowing people to live in a space of genuine happiness and even joy for the remainder of their time.
As a widow and past caregiver I have first hand experience as to the complexities and extreme challenges of navigating health care, palliative care, hospice, end of life care, death and post death care. From these experiences and the deaths of those I have held close, compassion and empathy run deep.
An intercultural marriage, extensive travel and having lived abroad all contributed to a genuine appreciation and respect for differences between cultures and a sensitivity to others’ religions, beliefs and traditions. I have sat vigil at many deathbeds within varied settings and in so doing, have considerably strengthened my ability to create and hold a sacred space and remain present in any surrounding with anyone.
My repertoire of skills and techniques is enriched by continued learning, especially bedside to the dying. I have received formal End of Life Doula training, Hospice Palliative Care education as well as Death, Dying and Bereavement certification. I work as an End of Life Doula privately, as a volunteer in a local residential hospice and as a vigil volunteer for Alberta Health Services.
I find my balance with another volunteer position in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at a Calgary hospital. To be able to welcome souls coming into the world and comfort others as they leave is truly amazing. This is the epitome of life coming full circle and where I drew inspiration to incorporate a mandala into this website homepage and other business aesthetics.
Mandalas have been created for centuries in Asia and India and now are seen throughout North America and Europe as well. From Sanskrit, the word mandala directly translates to circle. A circle symbolizes totality, the infinite and completion. Similarly, mandalas are symbolic of the universe and spiritual journey, where suffering can be transformed into joy, which is the very essence of Dying the Dream.